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									C6 Thursday, November 14, 2002                                                                                                      Old Gold and Black ACC Preview


Young ‘Pack ready to rumble with talent
            Hodge and Melvin look to lead Wolfpack in season filled with high expectations
     By Peter Bergman                   The Wolfpack are a young          surprise last season (7.1 ppg,     It was not until after the            a very intelligent young man,”
 Old Gold and Black Reporter          team this year, with only one       2.9 rpg), Evtimov would have     selection that the mishap               Sendek said.
                                      senior and two juniors. Senior      been selected to the ACC’s       was discovered. At 6 feet 7               The Wolfpack’s most glaring
  For the North Carolina State        point guard Clifford Crawford       all-freshman team had the        inches, the Bulgarian native is         needs are at point guard and
Wolfpack, this season is laden        only started four games last        sportswriters spelled his name   very versatile, and has a good          center, and thus some fresh
with high expectations for a          year and is likely to come off      correctly on the ballots.        knowledge for the game. “He’s           faces have a chance to step
team that made it to the finals       the bench again this year. He                                                                                into the spotlight.
of the ACC championship.              is very high energy and has                                                                                    At 6-foot-10-inches, Sopho-
Experts have placed them third        been a good spark off the bench                                                                              more Jordan Collins has been
in the preseason rankings.            throughout his career.                                                                                       working hard all summer on his
  Last season the Wolfpack              Junior Marcus Melvin is                                                                                    low post game, and will look to
made their first NCAA Tour-           expected to be a big part of                                                                                 get more minutes after looking
nament appearance in ten              the team’s plan this year, he                                                                                uncomfortable in limited time
years, and even advanced to           averaged over 10 points and                                                                                  all of last year.
the second round.                     five rebounds per game last                                                                                    Also looking for time down
  They defeated Michigan State        year.                                                                                                        low will be freshman center
in the first round, a team that         Said Sendek, “You talk                                                                                     Adam Simmons, who stands
had made the final four the           about improvement, between                                                                                   at 7 feet tall. Cameron Benne-
two previous years, before            his freshman and sophomore                                                                                   rman, Justin Flatt and Dovonte
losing a heartbreaker against         year he improved a lot . . . He’s                                                                            Edwards are a trio of freshman
Connecticut.                          capable of having a really good                                                                              guards who will be competing
  The game was close until the        season.” Junior Scooter Sher-                                                                                for a spot at the point.
end, when State’s Julius Hodge        rill, a guard who could start                                                                                  Overall, North Carolina State
fouled Caron Butler with the          in Grundy’s shooting guard                                                                                   will be looking to prove that
score tied at 74. Butler made         spot, rounds out the upper-                                                                                  they are for real and that last
all three free throws, and Con-       classmen.                                                                                                    year was no fluke.
necticut won by three.                  Despite the lack of experi-                                                                                  Somebody will have to step
  With exceptional guard              ence, Sendek does not think                                                                                  up though, most likely Hodge,
Anthony Grundy having                 that leadership will be a prob-                                                                              as last year it was blatant that
graduated, this year’s team           lem.                                                                                                         Grundy was the go-to guy.
will be built around Hodge,             “There won’t be just one or                                                                                While there will be a lot of
now a sophomore, who will             two guys,” Sendek said. “It                                                                                  pressure for this team, Sendek
not forget the Connecticut            could be a good thing that                                                                                   believes last year’s run will be
game anytime soon.                    more people will get to lead                                                                                 a positive for this year.
  “Ever since that day, I have        in their own unique way.”                                                                                      “It gives them an appreciation
been working twice as hard. I         Sendek hopes that his players                                                                                of what it takes: work, overcom-
am sticking to my cliché that,        can lead by example, especially                                                                              ing adversity, you have to be
‘Champions are made while             in regards to the talented fresh-                                                                            good and you have to be for-
no one is watching,’” Hodge           man class who are just learning                                                                              tunate,” Sendek said.
said.                                 the system.                                                                                                    The players believe in them-
  Hodge was second to Grundy            Says Crawford, “(The fresh-                                                                                selves and are showing signs
in scoring last year (10.7 ppg),      men) are all learning and                                                                                    of confidence. Crawford said,
and at 6 feet 6 inches and 180        they’re taking it one step at a                                                                              “Our program is on the rise
pounds, he is ideal for Coach         time . . . that’s a big step from                                                                            and we’re going to keep it on
Herb      Sendek’s      position-     high school to college.”                                                                                     the rise.”
less offense, where constant            One young player who will                                                                                    Melvin added, “It’s very
movement and hard cuts are            not be available for the Wolf-                               Photo courtesy of N.C. State Media Relations    important to make it back (to
common.                               pack this season is sophomore       N.C. State is lead by Julius Hodge and Marcus Melvin this                the tournament) this year to
  “I want Julius to have fun. I       forward Ilian Evtimov, who was      season and will be at the top of the ACC standings when all              show it wasn’t a lucky thing.”
want him to go out and take           lost for the year with a torn ACL   is said and done, according to many experts. The Wolfpack                The sky is the limit for this team
full advantage of his versatility,”   in the preseason.                   made a strong run in the ACC tournament last year and looks              of athletic youngsters, how far
Sendek said.                            Perhaps the ACC’s biggest         to continue its recent success.                                          they go will be up to them.



                           N.C. State                                         N.C. STATE 2002-2003 ROSTER
                                                                              NO.     NAME                               POS.      HT.       WT.      CL.      PPG       RPG

                           Wolfpack                                           3
                                                                              4
                                                                                      Ilian Evtimov
                                                                                      Dovonte Edwards
                                                                                                                         F
                                                                                                                         G
                                                                                                                                   6’7”
                                                                                                                                   6’0”
                                                                                                                                             226
                                                                                                                                             180
                                                                                                                                                       So.
                                                                                                                                                       Fr.-R
                                                                                                                                                                7.1      2.9
                                                                                                                                                                N/A-Redshirt
                                                                              10      Justin Flatt                       G         6’4”      188       Fr.      N/A - Prep
                                                                              12      Dominick Mejia                     G         6’4”      210       Fr.      N/A - Prep
           Head Coach: Herb Sendek                                            13
                                                                              21
                                                                                      Cameron Bennerman
                                                                                      Levi Watkins
                                                                                                                         G/F
                                                                                                                         F
                                                                                                                                   6’4”
                                                                                                                                   6’7”
                                                                                                                                             190
                                                                                                                                             220
                                                                                                                                                       Fr.
                                                                                                                                                       So.
                                                                                                                                                                N/A - Prep
                                                                                                                                                                3.2      2.0
             Career Record: 172-111                                           22      Will Roach                         F         6’5”      195       So.-R    0.6      0.1
                                                                              23      Scooter Sherrill                   G         6’3”      185       Jr.      5.7      1.2
           Record at N.C. State: 109-85                                       24      Julius Hodge                       F/G       6’6”      184       So.      10.7     4.8
             2001-02 Record: 23-11                                            30
                                                                              32
                                                                                      Clifford Crawford
                                                                                      Jordan Collins
                                                                                                                         G
                                                                                                                         C
                                                                                                                                   6’3”
                                                                                                                                   6’10”
                                                                                                                                             190
                                                                                                                                             254
                                                                                                                                                       Sr.
                                                                                                                                                       So.
                                                                                                                                                                4.3
                                                                                                                                                                1.6
                                                                                                                                                                         1.9
                                                                                                                                                                         1.4
        2002-03 ACC Finish: 9-7, Tie-Third                                    33      Josh Powell                        F/C       6’9”      223       So.      7.2      3.9
                                                                              34      Adam Simons                        C         7’0”      227       Fr.      N/A - Prep
              Returning Starters: 3                                           54      Marcus Melvin                      F/C       6’8”      235       Jr.      10.1     5.4

								
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